What’s in a Name?: Naming Your Tools

Just as there is a long tradition of naming ships, astronomical bodies, and offspring, so to is there a tradition of naming fiber arts tools.  A spinning wheel, spindle, drum carder, or loom can be a big investment.

By naming our tools, we pay homage to the work that the tool can do for us, but we also tend to pick names that we hope will imbue our tools with the qualities that the name represent.  For example, my first spinning wheel, an Ashford Traditional, was named for Frigg, Odin’s wife in Norse mythology.  My Joy II was names Arachne, partially because of my love of the anime Soul Eater, but also because of the Greek myth of Arachne.  My picker is named the Widow Maker, for reasons I think you can imagine.  Here are a few of my favorite names from different mythologies.

Favorite  Mythological Names

  • Arachne – Greek goddess of spiders
  • Athena – Goddess of spinning and the one who turned Arachne into a spider
  • Clotho, Lachesis, or Atropos – Greek spinners of fate – the Fates
  • Lina – Greek goddess of flax weaving
  • Minerva – Roman goddess of war, wisdom, and art.
  • Frigg or Friga – wife of Odin in Norse mythology, known for spinning the clouds.
  • Neith – Egyptian goddess of spinning
  • Tayet – Egyptian goddess of spinning and weaving
  • Kokyangwuti or Na’ashjé’íí Asdzáá – Spider woman or Spider Grandmother in some Native American traditions
  • Anastasia of Sirmium – Christian saint of weavers
  • Blaise – Christian saint of wool combers
  • Amaterasu – Japanese goddess who spins and weaves sunbeams



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